You heard it here first.
The National Book Award winner will be announced on November 16 at the big shindig in New York City. I don't read this prize -- the winners tend to be too experimentally modern for my taste -- and my knowledge of the process and the nominees is limited. Fortunately, there's lots of good information at the NBA website.
You may recall from years past that each fall C.S. buys first editions of the finalists as soon as they're announced and reads them before the prize is awarded. It's his own version of a holiday tradition, and has led (as you can imagine) to quite a collection of high-quality books. He also has an impressive record of predicting the winner.
This year it's almost too easy: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, is a slam dunk from a weak field, according to C.S. And I quote: "If it doesn't win, I will eat my bookmark."